New name, new genre, same author…

I love writing. I’ve just completed two more novels, A Year of Mr. Maybes and another, titled The Highland Hens, both of which will be published this year under the name Judy Leigh. They are both romantic comedies, dealing with the lives and loves of older women and the themes of second chances and living life to the maximum. I hope readers will find them uplifting, funny and, at times, moving. I love writing in this genre: I believe strongly that we live in an era now where people are reconsidering longstanding prejudices and stereotypes that have long accompanied older age. Protagonists who are sixty years of age and older are not just benevolent grandparents or extraneous characters, they are stars in their own right, and I love being able to feature older protagonists who have fun, make choices, start again, love and learn as life goes on. I hope you will continue to enjoy these books.

Boldwood Books have been wonderful; they have demonstrated faith in my writing by offering me the opportunity to write three new books in a second genre. I was brought up with a fascination for the past and a philosophical interest in the supernatural, so writing spooky dual timelines was something I’ve always wanted to do, and I am so loving it already!

Using my grandmother Nell’s name, Elena Collins, I’ve written The Witch’s Tree, to be published on May 17th.  She was a wonderful woman with an incredible laugh. She had healing hands, could read fortunes and tell stories.

The Witch’s Tree is the story of 38-year-old Selena Cain who retreats to Somerset when her life in Manchester becomes turbulent and too hard to bear. She hopes that life in Sloe Cottage will recharge her batteries and give her time to heal. But she soon discovers that she is not the cottage’s only occupant.

In 1682, 22-year-old Grace Cotter lives in Slaugh Cottage with her widowed father, Will. They both work on the local farm and Grace also helps her Grandmother Bett with herbal remedies and midwifery. But an encounter with the farmer’s son, Nathaniel, sets Grace on a path that will change her life forever.

I hope you will enjoy this new genre of my books under a new name. I have thoroughly loved the chance to research place and time, and it has been a joy to create new characters and beautiful settings. I have also enjoyed working on the suspense of a spooky atmosphere that I hope will thrill and intrigue my readers.

I have started the second book, and there will be more news about it soon. I recently spent some time in Scotland, researching location and history, immersing myself in people and places. I’m very excited about this story too, and I’m already several hundred words in with characters and locations I think readers will love.  I’m hoping readers will enjoy The Witch’s Tree and come back for more. I can’t wait for May, for the book to be published and to find out what readers think.

As ever, thank you for reading, reviewing and enjoying my books. An author without readers is a world without sunshine.

Sending warmest wishes, always.   X

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